at Interface Gallery, Oakland, CA
“The first rule of naming a horse is that a name may consist of no more than 18 letters, and spaces and punctuation marks count as letters. Eighteencharacters is acceptable (and is, in fact, a registered horse name) but Eighteen Characters is not.”(From The Jockey Club Registry, established 1894)
Interface Gallery is pleased to present Eighteencharacters, featuring Bonanza, the collective practice of Conrad Guevara, Lindsay Tully and Lana Williams. Taking inspiration from the horse races at nearby Golden Gate Fields in Berkeley and the gallery’s history as turn of the century horse stable for the local horse-drawn trolley, the exhibition is titled after a naming convention used for race horses.
Examining the performativity of identity through stage names like those given to race horses – Midnight Lady, Mark of a Gem, Lil Swiss Echo - Bonanza finds a metaphor for their own collective practice, which is similarly playful and strategic.
Just as the act of naming attributes, masks, and alters meaning, implicitly revealing the imitative structure and contingency of naming itself, Bonanza’s shifting interplay of sculpture, film making, and painting, and of individual and collaborative works, examines contingency through a collapsing and continuity of their work as a spirited partnership. As the distinctions between individual practices blur and the collaborative exercise becomes more concrete, the artists challenge the value of authorship and the fixity of identity by taking on their own stage name – Bonanza.